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Firefox Beta FAQ

Updated 5.19.11


Q: What’s new in Firefox Beta for Windows, Mac and Linux?

A: This release includes the Firefox channel switcher, performance and stability enhancements and support for the new CSS Animations standard to allow developers build more amazing Web experiences. Full details are available in the release notes.


Q: What’s new in Firefox Beta for Android?

A: Firefox for Android is the first mobile Web browser to offer the Do Not Track privacy feature. This release also includes performance enhancements that make page load time faster (especially on 3G networks) and improves panning for faster scanning of websites. Full details are available in the release notes. For more info see the mobile FAQ


Q: How does Do Not Track work?

A: Do Not Track lets users tell websites they want to opt-out of online behavioral tracking. To turn Do Not Track on, simply go to the Preferences option in the Firefox Menu (or Preferences option in Browser Tools on Firefox for Android) and check the box next to “tell websites I do not want to be tracked.”

When this option is selected, a HTTP header will be sent signaling to websites that you wish to opt-out of online behavioral tracking. You will not notice any difference in your browsing experience until sites and advertisers start responding to the header. Visit the Mozilla Do Not Track site for more info.


Q: How does the Firefox Channel switcher work (for Windows, Mac and Linux)?

A: The Firefox channel switcher has been discontinued. A bugzilla# 659972 was raised for this to be removed


Q: Why does Firefox ask for my location? What is Location-Aware Browsing?

A: Location-Aware Browsing saves you time by allowing websites to ask you where you are. If you choose to share your location with a website, it can use that information to find nearby points of interest and return additional, useful data like maps of your area. It’s all optional – Firefox doesn’t share your location without your permission. Learn more about Location-Aware Browsing and view the privacy policy from the Google Location Service.


Q: When will the next version of Firefox be final?

A: As part of the new rapid release cycle we plan to deliver a final release of the next version of Firefox the week of June 21, 2011.


Firefox Rapid Releases

Q: Why switch to a rapid release cycle for Firefox?

A: Rapid releases let us deliver new features, performance enhancements, security updates and stability improvements to users faster.


Q: How does the rapid release cycle work? What is the rapid release timing?

A: We now have four Firefox channels: nightly, aurora, beta and release. Each stage of the development process lasts for six weeks.

  • Nightly - Test builds including unpolished features not tested by Mozilla QA
  • Aurora - Test the latest features and innovations with an increase in polish from the raw, cutting edge features in nightly builds
  • Firefox Beta - Broadly test the stability of new features and improvements in the next version of Firefox
  • Firefox Release - Delivers the polished and stable features in Firefox to hundreds of millions of users


Q: Why is the new rapid release schedule shorter/different for Firefox 5?

A: Firefox 5 will be slightly different from future releases due to the development overlap with Firefox 4 and the work we’ve done to move to a rapid release cycle. To break down the timeline, this means: rather than six weeks for mozilla-central, mozilla-aurora, and mozilla-beta we instead have three weeks for development on mozilla-central, five weeks to converge and stabilize on mozilla-aurora, and five weeks to validate on mozilla-beta.


Q: Is rapid release happening for Firefox for desktop and mobile?

A: Yes!


Q: Is there an aurora channel for mobile?

A: Not right now. We recently added a beta channel to Firefox for Android to get more feedback from users and prepare for rapid releases. The beta channel is in addition to the existing nightly test builds and final release channel of Firefox for mobile. There may be an aurora channel soon- stay tuned!


Q: Can I switch between Firefox channels? How?
A: This is not possible. Firefox Channel Switcher has been discontinued.